The Spiderwick Chronicles – By Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black – Complete Series Review

Howdy Jared,

This was supposed to be published on Monday, but I forgot to schedule it. It’s almost the end of the month so I’m sprinting to the end.

I’ve got the first two books on my shelf  (Bookshelf Blitz) but since they’re so short I figured I should probably just review the whole series at once instead of piecing them out. Also expect a review of the movie soon-ish.

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles
Author: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Youth
ROTS Setting: EU, Faeries, Dragons,
Synopsis: The Field Guide sets up the story of the Grace children—13-year-old Mallory and 9-year-old twins Jared and Simon—who with their mother move into the dilapidated Spiderwick Estate only to quickly find themselves sucked into a dark and fascinating world of faeries.
Recommendation: This book is recommended. Suitable for nearly all ages.

Book 1: The Field Guide

It’s a fair start to a series. I’m surprised at how much, but also how little is done in this book. Since it’s so short there isn’t much in the way of plot, but I do think it laid out the world pretty good. I want to know more about this hidden world and the critters in it.

Jared, the character, can not catch a break. It’s stupid when you’re blamed for things you clearly didn’t do so I can relate. He’s got issues but they didn’t feel blown out of proportion……except for then being blamed for bad things happening.

I might have been similar to Simon if I’d been allowed to keep tons of pets. He’s the more intelligent twin, slightly softer spoken and willing to compromise.

Mallory is the older sister. And she’s into fencing…….Do I need to say more?

Book 2: The Seeing Stone

Oooooo! There’s some good action in this book. I’m not even halfway through the series and I’m already wishing it was longer.

Simon is probably my biggest disappointment so far. I really wish he had a bigger role than just needing saving. The next book will really determine his character for me.

I’m getting a Fablehaven Lite sort of vibe to the series, which is nice for a reader who wants to get into their first novel.

Book 3: Lucinda’s Secret

This was a very info-heavy book. We get a lot of insight and context, but little actions. The stakes are high and they do have several jams they need to get out of, but they don’t actually do much.

One of the great things about the book is that is raises a lot of questions about magic and faeries and all of the hidden and unseen aspects of our world.

Book 4: The Ironwood Tree

The penultimate book! There is a lot of setup but also a lot of action. It makes up for the slower third book.

We are also treated to the climax of Jared’s character. It was great to see everything, the pain, sorrow, and frustration of his character come to a head and the promise of a resolution.

Book 5: The Wrath of Mulgarath

The events immediately follow the end of book four and it’s non-stop action. Hogsqueal and Thimbletack have prominent rolls to play. Jared and his mother finally trust each other. And, finally, the tale of Arthur Spiderwick has been revealed in its entirety.

A great conclusion to this tiny series! It had everything I was hoping for and was a very satisfying ending.

Summary

I want more.

Yep, that’s my biggest beef with this series. I want more magic, more fae, and more of the story. It’s great for a first novel series, but I want full size YA novels. Specifically I believe that this series could easily be a YA duology and be amazing! The extra room would let the characters get more depth and complexity while also allowing a more detailed look at this fascinating world. Seriously, if anyone with actual influence reads this, please steal it. Just publishing it would be acknowledgement enough for me.

In more realistic news, there is a spin-off series Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles and some of the content at the end this series both hint that more could be happening……eventually.

I’ve also rewatched the movie so you can expect a review on that soon.

Robert


Links

The Spiderwick Chronicles – By Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black – Complete Series Review

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